An E-mail from Peggy O'Brien
to everyone, June 12, 2004 wrote:

Yes, we were among the thousands who paid tribute to Ronald Reagan this week. Since the Reagan Library is practically in our backyard, we felt honored to be a part of history. On Monday, we were able to watch the motorcade bring the flag draped casket to the Library. It was a very patriotic scene as people, young and old, lined the streets at the entrance to the Library with red, white and blue every where. Flags, floral bouquets, balloons, signs and personal notes were left as a memorial at the street entrance of the Library. At times it felt like a celebration or the 4th of July. We had hoped to be able to walk up the hill to the library but because of heightened security this was not possible. We had to make the 15-minute car ride to Moorpark College.

Fortunately, we waited only two hours in the snaked lines to reach the security screening which would enable us to board a bus to return to the Library. We were the lucky ones, as later people waited five to seven hours. While waiting in line we met people who had traveled hours from all parts of Ca or neighboring states to be part of this viewing. It was a very orderly crowd and everyone had interesting stories to tell the media or share with their newfound friends. While waiting in line we could go over to the tent that had been erected for the sole purpose of displaying all the tributes, as we were not able to bring anything onto the bus. The Red Cross passed out bottles of water to everyone and there were plenty of port-a-potties.

After boarding the bus we again reminisced with our new friends during our return trip to the Library. Once back at the Library a calm came over everyone as we solemnly walked around the flag draped coffin. The precision of the honor guard was perfect and made you proud to be an American. If not for an occasional blink of an eye, you would think they were mannequins. There were some tears, some people saluted, some put their hand over their heart and some simply walked in silence. Although it only took a few minutes, it was a very moving experience and certainly worth the wait. On Friday, after watching the very moving and emotional tribute unfold at the National Cathedral, Reagan was returned to Simi Valley. From our front yard we watched Air Force One fly over the Library on its way to Point Mugu which was an awesome site. Later that day we were again outside listening to the 21-gun salute and then hurrying back into our house as not to miss the TV coverage. The eulogies from his three children were beautiful, personal and very fitting for his final resting-place.

We have lived in Simi Valley for 14 months and have visited the Library at least a half dozen times with family and friends. Now we are looking forward to another visit next week when the crowds subside.

Peggy and Dave